But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Most people who have addictions are struggling with control issues. When something gets out of control, they go to an addiction, because that’s something they can control. You’ll hear someone say, “See that guy? He has a porn addiction.” But I think it’s just a sign that he has a control issue. Or you’ll hear, “He’s addicted to alcohol.” But that’s probably not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is likely a lack of control.
Maybe what’s really going on with him is that his work is out of control, his family is out of control, his kids are out of control, his relationships are out of control, and his marriage is out of control. What can he control right now? He can control how much alcohol he puts in his system. So he’s going to be a drunk, because that’s what he can control.
Or maybe he discovers that even though everything else is out of control, he can still control his computer screen. So he’s going to go to that website, because there, he feels like he’s in control. Those girls can give him visuals and acceptance, and trick his mind. He will let them do all those things, because everything else is out of his control.
What a relief it is to figure out that the only thing you’re supposed to control is yourself! The Bible says you should have self-control. Not wife control, kid control, employee control, or other people control. The Bible doesn’t say anything about that. The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
When people quit trying to control everything around them and replace that with trust, trusting their husband or wife, trusting their kids, trusting their employees, trusting their boss, just trusting other people, then they will learn self-control.
There are not enough people in the church with the right attitude about this. There are not enough people open to helping each other with their control issues, and it should be 100% the opposite. In the church, we should be very open to it. Everyone in the church should know that if they have an issue, it’s okay to come forward. We’re not going to listen to you just so we can gossip about you. We’re going to listen to you and help you, because we want to show you what grace and trust feel like. God is grace and trust, so that’s who we are. We’re not going to reject you. We’re going to love on you.
We are all susceptible to sin or addiction. We all live in the flesh! When we acknowledge that, and welcome people in their flesh with love, we can help each other. We live in our flesh. But we also live in the Spirit. God says we’re righteous and holy. So we’re going to think that way. And we’re going to help each other and love each other.
You know who was the epitome of self-control? Jesus! More on this next time. See you Monday.